tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 11, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PST
then the surprise cancellation of this rally. and then about 20 minutes where we saw scuffle, punching, fighting inside. some pretty, very scary moments. not enough law enforcement to fully deal with it. now it looks like it is starting to dissipate. let's go now to anderson cooper. good evening. the pictures tell the story tonight. and it is an ugly story. near pandemonium at a trump rally in chicago. thousands of protesters, and trump supporters. you can see it there. clashing on the campus of the use of illinois and chicago. the event was postponed. donald trump did take stage. other reports say it was flat out canceled. some blaming the candidate for tolerating or in some cases, even encouraging it.
jim acosta is inside the pavilion. it looks like it is emptied out behind you. tell me, what is happening now and how did we get to this point? >> reporter: i can tell that you the situation has gotten under control which is the good news. chicago police came in by the droves here in the last 15, 20 minutes. basically shortly after 7:00 your time, 6:00 our time, there was an announcement made by the trump campaign that this rally would be kansas he told because of their consultations with law enforcement officials. as soon as that happened, there were hundreds thousands of protesters. they were cheering because they were able to stop the donald trump rally from taking place. that started an almost domino effect where you had trump supporters yelling at them and
then there was pushing and shoving back and forth. police at the beginning, they were not in the proper number to break up all of this. the private security, the arena security. it took a good 15 to 20 minutes before things got under control. we saw pockets of different scuffles breaking out throughout this arena. then you saw chicago police officers filing in. going down the staircase on to the arena floor here. separating these fights. and then pulling these protesters and supporters out of this arena. it took a very long time and it was a completely ugly seasonable. and as you were mentioning, it has been building up to something like this. we could feel it. you would see a scuffle here, a scuffle there. you would see a couple protesters in the stands. they might lock arms and it might be difficult for law enforcement or security to get them out of here. what we saw tonight as it was
building up to this, say a whole section of protesters. several hundred protesters here. that's why you started to have this volatile mix. it was impossible for the security here to get those people out of here. i understand outside, you have some protests going on. you might that even have some back and forth going on with police. inside, things r-calmer. it is a dramatically different scene from 45 years ago. >> let me read you the actual statement from the trump campaign as to what happened. it says mr. trump just arrived in chicago. after meeting with law enforcement has determined for the safety of all the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight's rally will be postponed to another date. thank you very much for your attendance. and please go in peace. and just a few minutes ago we had a statement from the chicago police department telling us, as of now, no arrests have been
made. and no one injured. i hope that's the case. the clashes that we saw, that's video from earlier in the left-hand side of the screen. on the right-hand side is pictured from right now outside the arena. it was thousands. people gathered outside for hours and hours and now there are even more as people are leaving the arena. just to be clear about one thing. we were watching those pictures from inside. there were hundreds, if not thousands of anti-trump protesters inside this event. it is clear what happened is that people protesting trump, infiltrated it. to saert extent, a lot of what we're seeing is them. these people protesting against trump. they got in there in enormous numbers.
there were news stories all day long from latino groups. from civil rights groups. muslim american groups in chicago, saying they were going to try to disrupt this rally, or at least protest this rally. and you saw hundreds of those people from those groups coming in here essentially to stage what was supposed to be, i think, a peaceful protest of this trump rally. but because of the numbers of people, the volatile mix here, because of the clashes with the trump supporters, that is why things spiraled out of control here. and as you were saying earlier, we've seen this build up over time over the course of the last several weeks. this is something they could have expected. you've been to chicago many times. th is not the only venue in chicago where you can hold a rally. this is the university of illinois at chicago. one of the most ethnically, religiously diverse areas of the
of the city. there are areas outside chicago, republican, where you have arenas, auditoriums and venues where you can stage a rally and probably not have what unfolded here tonight. total chaos. this was completely out of control. law enforcement did not have a handle on it. private security did not have a handle on it. and this could have erupted into a full scale riot had things not gotten under control over the course of the 15 or 20 minutes when things finally did get under control. clearly there are people here who are here to cause trouble. it could have been a whole lot worse. luckily not a lot of injuries. a the love pushing and shoving and not what you want to see when you're in the middle of a presidential campaign. it is hard to get your hands around the fact that this was supposed to be a political rally. illinois is one of the primaries
on tuesday. it was a sad picture of where the country is right now. so bitterly divided. people are so on edge. you would think donald trump would say, instead of celebrating the edginess at these rallies, he might have to tone it down. i nag trump campaign is discussing that. >> i want to you stay part of the discussion. i also want to bring in david gergen, cnn political analyst who has advisedle many presidents. john king is joining us. and bring us up to speed. we're looking at a tape from before of the clashes on the floor at this arena after the donald trump event was kanscanc. this is not happening in a
vacuum. their anger is not again in a vacuum. there has been rough stuff at trump events from trump supporters. >> there's also been rough stuff suggested from the candidate himself over many week. i remember trump at the end of february at a rally in las vegas. he talked about a protester taken out. he claim that guy was swinging punches. he was misbehaving. and i've never seen this from aes presidential candidate, let alone someone on track to be the nominee. i would like to pump if gothat n the face. trump has said things like that. he has lamented the good old days. did he this in north carolina the other day when a protester was sucker punched by one of trump's supporters. so there is a physics law here, for every action, there is a reaction. trump has said i don't condone this. noon, these guys started and it
therefore that's what happens. >> let me show the video of what she was talking about. the punch at this event in north carolina where a trump supporter, you can see it here. just out and out sucker punches right there. and that man is facing charges the trump campaign disavows this. he said what that man does is not our fault but this is the time of thing that has been happening at some of these events. and donald trump has said he would like to punch protesters in the nose. john king who joins us from washington, you've covered a lot of political events, a lot of political rallies. i've never seen anything like what we saw. i've never seen an event canceled. >> a lot of these protesters came up. they want to be on the news. they came with the motivation of causing a problem.
the question that is what happens after that, and what tone does the candidate set? it is not donald trump's fault, quote unquote, that people want to protest him. it is his right. because he has repeatedly as maggie noted, said i would like to punch this guy. in the old days we would rip him out of his seat. he used strong language and that does seat tone for his supporters. when you see that, donald trump didn't tell him to do that. maybe the guy has followed news coverage and heard donald trump say several times, i wish could i do it. or it is okay, he said earlier when some black lives matters protesters, it is okay to rough him up a little bit. this is a test for donald trump. it looks hike he is on the path to be the nominee for the republican party. whether he gets nomination or not, he is a leading spokeman for the republican party. and the leading spokesman for his many followers who are new
people are coming to vote in america. that's a good thing. this is a test of his leadership to say, okay. they ever every right to be in the streets. to try to talk to them. when he looks at these pictures, there should be a message that there's a bigger unity. a bigger, at least, step back and break the ice here somehow. break the tension challenge. >> what you do see is successful protests. they went to this event to make their voice heard. perhaps and disrupt it and it worked. you think donald trump needs to do something. he needs on get out in front of this. i guess not out in front. it already happen. >> this is one of the most important moments of the entire campaign. this could cost him the nomination. could it also catapult him.
we don't clng way it will cut. a lot of people will be frightened and horrified. we've had this kind of violence in chicago in 1968, the democratic convention. 48 years laterering with still talk about it. wallace' campaign. when he used language similar to trump. bad things came out of that. eventually the candidate himself was shot. so this is very dangerous. the candidate must set the tone for his rallies. that's his responsibility. as others have said, he has set a tone that encourages his supporters to go after and punch people. and naturally it draws out bigger and bigger protests and it sets the stage for this kind of incendiary climactic moment. this is a test of his leadership to be president. to show that he can unify in the way that he claims. it is what he has to do. i think he has to go tomorrow, no later than this weekend and make it clear.
while he wants to have rallies, it is critically important that they are peaceful. people come in peace and leave in peace. >> megan, you've been covering him a long time. do you have any sense that is something he would do? earlier today he was saying you need to fight back? >> i'll do you one better. i spoke to him at 6:00 our time, 5:00 in chicago. when he was on his wayering gave no indication there would be a cancellation. he expected it to be rough. he had warning there would be protests but he at no point mentioned this. i do not believe he is going to do something completely counter to his message. we've seen him say one thing and then a completely different. i'm a unifier but i want to punch the protester in the face. i don't think he will say something that will be something of a message of harmony tomorrow.
he is going to have to address this. i don't know that it is going to hurt him in the contest. >> david gergen said a moment ago, this is the type of thing if he doesn't handle at this time right way, that could cost him the nomination. you know demographics. you know who is supporting donald trump. do you think that donald trump taking a stand against these protesters will hurt him with the people who support him? >> you don't have to embrace the protesters to say we need to have this debate in a civil way. look, donald trump is running for the republican nomination. paigs of the republican primary is as over whelmingly white. if we want to make it a white versus black, there are policy reasons many of these protesters are there. whether it is donald trump's views on immigration or other things. some of them came just to cause trouble.
some are there to get in his face and see what he would say. some interesting challenges for mr. trump to say, you have a right to protest. i have a right to speak. i'm going to speak and speak my mine and i won't change my positions. i'm going to urge my followers to be peaceful. if there is a problem in the room, maybe shut our mouths and let it pass. don't turn up the volume if you will. there are other candidates in the race. three of them. and one of the thing you saw last night, especially from cruz and rubio was to say donald trump is not presidential. he is not up to the job of not only being a commander in chief but being a president. the colonel president has had a number of mass shootings on his watch. sometime you have events that happen around the world. we have one president at a time and that president often has to try to bring the country
together at very difficult times. as people are picking a president. that should be, anyway, one of the things is, is this a person i can see in the oval office when a big thing happens who can step out and get the country to take a breath and give pause and reflect on the gravity of the moment. there is a question as to how mr. trump reacts. there is a question as to how the others do. >> do you think it could lose the nomination? >> yes, sir. i think a lot of people will look at these pictures and be frightened. you have to think, when you elect a president. what will life be like the next four years? if this represents the future, if this kind of chaos and the lack of control and the lack of leadership represents the future, a lot of people will walk away. as attractive as they final him. i think many of the supporters
will say, they shut him down. that's unfair. and they will come out in large numbers. most american people want it more peaceful than this. >> many people watching chicago in march saying if this is chicago in march, what will cleveland in july look like? with a trump nominee. >> it is a very important question. >> conventions ten to be much more controlled environments. people know protesters are coming. i remember new york city in 2004. there was a widespread awareness that people were very engage in the what was happening. what is striking, it is an out of control scene here. the police didn't have a handle on it despite the warnings that there would be hundreds and hugs of protesters. trump's private security didn't have a handle on it. they clearly know there are
protesters. and one of the things that's striking about this, these are not protests, i've never seen anything like it. this is my fourth presidential covering. i have never witnessed a scenario where because it is through rallies, this is the only way people can protest him. the way he communicates is either through the media or through these large events. one of the things that's crucial is the element of control. the illusion of control and his ability to command the room. what the protesters rlize in the last month. if we have these rolling waves of disruptions. not just one or two. but ongoing. he said in florida. the protesters stop so we can speak for feweconds? this was getting to him. i don't know if this is a security concern as to why he didn't go on and it could be a piece of it.
could have been much worse. the chicago police department did tell us as of a few minutes ago, there have been no arrests and no injuries. that indicates as bad as it looks on the left-hand side, that's video from earlier. as bad as it looks. they did get the situation under ntl. live pictures now from the street. there are a bunch of people. maybe less. maybe fewer people out there than before. they do look to be standing around. so hopefully this situation is diffused. as bad as it looks, the video you're seeing on the left hand side. eventually the police came in and took care of the situation. joining us by phone, the form he secret service agent. i'm glad you're with us. help us understand the security. donald trump does have secret service protection.
what kinds of precautions are taken? is crowd safety an issue? >> yes, it is. it is top two or three every time. an unruly crowd is clearly dangerous to the candidate. i'm having a tough time of this conversation. the tone is strange. it seal like an eagerness to put this on trump. as a form he secret service agent. i ran for office as a republican. i proudly put my butt on the line for president obama. i don't see how this is a trump issue. i'm a cruz supporter. i already endorsed him. blaming trump for this, or even insinuating that trump had something to do with a near violent protest at a rally that put public servants in danger, in a democracy, i have to tell you. i don't get it.
having been on both sides of this. i really don't. >> first we made it clear that hundreds if not thousands of protesters staged a demonstration on the floor of this event and managed to stop it. the presence there was what had this event called off. we have made it clear. that's different than anything we've seen in this campaign. what is also different, the level of tension and the atmosphere. the charged atmosphere at trump events. you get them sucker punching. you have candidates who says i want to punch that person in the nose. i remember the good old days when protesters were carried out on stretchers. this just doesn't happen in campaigns. >> i'm not supporting trump.
i'm a supporter for a different candidate. i don't think it is productive at all of i gave an interview a week ago. i said it is probably making the job of the secret service very difficult. my problem is it seem when it is a republican candidate, they're held to a completely different level. we've seen this nastiness from the left. and there is an interesting to run and say it is just them them don't speak for the movement. in some cases, criminal things like assaulting people. i think it is very dangerous for us to somehow pin this on a candidate who hasn't broken any laws. he is running on a platform i don't agree with. i don't think it is helpful. i don't think it is helpful to the secret service either. i think in the press as commentators, it is very dangerous to insinuate that trump should be, well, squelch somehow? i don't think it will hurt his campaign at all of i think the
left is trying to get him elected with activists. it only fires up his supporters. >> i want to disagree that anyone is trying to pin this on trump. we would say whether it was ted cruz or hillary clinton or bernie sanders, if this was taking place at a bernie sanders rally, it would be covered the same way. >> no, it wouldn't. >> i disagree, sir. >> bernie sanders appeared at liberty university and got a standing ovation. it's a conservative christian college. this doesn't happen. that's the whole point. this only happen when's it is a republican candidate. that's the point. >> when does this happen on the left? >> i appreciate your service and i respectfully disagree along with maggie. 1968, 1972, there was a candidate named george wallace. he encouraged people to punch back. he encouraged people to stand up
to protesters. and there was a lot of fisticuff that's came out of that. sveumy he got shot and badly wounded. it was terrible. inner 2008 when john mccain was running at the sarah palin rallies, by the way, the press covered george wallace heavily. just because he was a democrat, that did not keep them back. and they got really hammered for it. it is not a partisan thing. in the john mccain convention, or his campaign of 2008, that's a sarah palin rally. we had similar things going on when people were calling barack obama all sorts of names. the press came down hard. what happened? john mccain understood and took responsibility for what was going on in the sarah palin rallies. he told about a woman, how he would destroy the country. he stood up and said enough is enough. we're going to treat this man with decency, with respect. and he change the tone of his
campaign. that's what we're saying about donald trump. you have to agree that he has taken a very, very encouraging view toward people. i want to go to jeff outside right now on the streets. we're looking at many people on the streets. give us a sense of what you're seeing and hearing. >> it is just a little west of downtown chicago. now, a lot of these protesters are moving east toward down. a lot of signs of the protesters. all ant-trump. we see a few bernie sanders supporters here. he is now organizing this. a lot of local chicago, this is a very liberal crowd here. very calm and peaceful.
we've been out here a while. not seeing any pushing and shoving. this is very calm and orderly. there is a sense that they have won. and that donald trump will not be able to give his rally here tonight in chicago. that's one side of victory. but we also saw disappointed trump supporters who were walking away from the rally. they wanted to see him. they were dispoint they didn't get to see him here. on the street here, very peaceful at this hour. this have been no injuries. a second ago we got a statement from the police department that said the decision to cancel the
event was not made by them. the chicago police department did. the implication is it must have been the trump campaign itself. >> that's right. that's the announcement that was made. after talking with law enforcement, to kansas tell rally we're stack on the corner of one intersection. i can see the sears tower looming on the horizon down. as jeff was saying, it is fairly peaceful. when we came out, there was a little bit of pushing. a little shoving. mostly what you're seeing is very excited boisterous protesters. they feel like it is mission accomplished. their very happy that they could start this rally. there are also some very dispoenld trump supporters. i'm standing next to one right now. are you upset?
>> these people are yelling out free speech but they just shut down a speaker, a speech by donald trump. and it doesn't make sense. they're shutting down people for giving his views. they're not doing it the right way. there is a fight. >> you can see out here, there are some tensions but so far nothing like what we saw about an hour ago. this is something that these protesters were hoag to do tonight. we have seen pockets of law enforcement trying to get ahold of this.
i'm not sure they can get to it. it is behind so many people. there's a whole group of officers on horseback. presumably they're positioned there in case this escalates out here. my sense of it is that besides the occasional shuffle, the occasional pushing and shoving, most of these protesters are here to talk to the media. talk to. they about what happened here tonight. obviously this was a very wild scene. it is not something we typically see at a political rally on a daily basis. >> all right. stand by outside and let us know. i want to bring in a trump supporter and a conservative columnist. also joining us, a republican strategist who worked on the mitt romney campaign and george w. bush's campaign. let me start with you. david gergen says he think this is could hurt the trump campaign. you can make the counter argument that trump is running in a republican primary.
we heard from a trump support here feel he was denied the right to hear the candidate he is supporting speak. and you can see donald trump saying, you know, this just proves what i've been saying. you need a strong leader who can speak the truth and tell people when they've gone too far. what is your take? could this help donald trump tonight? >> this isn't complicated. donald trump is running as george wallace. he is almost doing with it more deliberateness than george wallace did. wallace at least pretended at times to be civil. what is remarkable about what donald trump is doing, he is sort of exalting, he is out there shouting and playing the thug and encouraging people to do that. he is inciting violence. can you win a republican primary this way? i sure hope not.
i know you can't win a general election this way. there are not enough white people in america who are angry at those who aren't white to win an election this way. it is an absolute train to nowhere. incredibly disruptive for the country. and it really, he has no idea what he's playing with. >> i want to bring you in here. you are a donald trump supporter. we heard from a donald trump supporter at this event who felt like he was denied the right to hear his candidate speak. what do you want to hear the man you're supporting say? >> well, i think he said tonight exactly what i wanted him to say. at the end of the statement, he said please go in peace. last night in the debate he reannounced violence. he has done so repeatedly. i think missing in this conversation, we constantly hear about donald trump somehow enstig it aing the actions of those in the crowd. as if he is supposed to be baby
sitting 35,000 people. what about the culpability of the protesters? 10,000 people showed up to cause disruption. i've heard two of your reporters say that. that was the intend. you are not seeing teem supporters show up at hillary clinton or bernie sanders rallies to cause anger and violence. when you watch those scenes, you see a ton, 10,000 people with ant-trump signs causing disruptions. where is the culpability of the protesters? people are responsible for their own actions. this is not donald trump's fault. he has completely renounced violence and that's all he needs to do. this is the fault of the protesters. they should be ashame of their actions. >> just let us know when you're on the ground at events like this, what is your job? how far are you willing to let protesters go at events like this? what is your relationship to the campaigns. they?
>> the secret service is a very specific pre defined role. we have no ability legally to squelch protests. i'm not their spokesman. i left four years ago. having been an agent for ten years, we have zero ability to squelch a protest. when we can get involved is if you make any furtive motions toward the protectee, toward the stage, or if you make a threat. this is clearly a case where you see people intend on threatening people. i'm looking at it. your video shows those people are clearly there to cause some kind of physical altercation. i pin this completely on these protesters for put tk secret serve, the chicago cops and people who are politically assembled in danger. i think they are 100% at fault. and we can, a to you political ramifications but clearly from a
tactical perspective, the fault is up with hundred% to the people who showed up with malicious intend. >> there is a disagreement around this table. i imagine who is to blame. on the one hand, what he is saying is true. there are people who showed one the intend of stopping donald trump. they succeeded. but your suggestion is that this happened and they showed up in much what they are protesting. it is the atmosphere created over the last weeks and months by donald trump. >> it's a fact. i played this game. i know what it is like. we can say it is the protesters' fault. but why is this happening? you have someone who wants this violence. you have someone who goes out there and talks about punching people in the face. he talks about roughing up protesters.
when his campaign manager grabbed a female reporter, he has backed up the campaign manager. he hand called for an investigation. this creates an atmosphere where violence is condoned. it is encouraged. take any inls constitution you know. take a school. when you encourage violence in a school, you're more likely to have violence. when you take any sort of institution, you're going to have, a sports team. do they have violence or not? it all comes from the top. this is coming from donald trump. the man who is red face asked yelling, punch them in the face, he is asking for violence and he is getting violence. this is not anything that's happening in isolation. this is what donald trump is creating. it is what donald trump wants.
this is the scene that he wants played out. the question is, is this what you want? i'm with david gergen on this. i think this is an angry version of an angry man who has no idea what it is to govern america. >> we hadsome live pictures. i believe they were blocking traffic. there is still an ongoing protest. you can see the live pictures of what's going on on the streets. the police tell us no arrests have been made. no one has been injured. it is largely peaceful. inside, after it was cancelled, we did see some extremely tense moments. he asked the question. is this what you want to see? as a donald trump supporter? is this what you want to see
right now? what's happening tonight? i'm not talking about the protests but i'm talking about, donald trump has said. he is the candidate who has said, he wishes he could punch protesters in the nose. is that something that donald trump supporters, you want to see? >> i don't think anyone wants to see violence like this. and donald trump doesn't want to see violence like this. but i take issue with saying that donald trump wants this violence. >> is he joking when he says he wishes he could punch someone in the nose? is he joking when he says it is good to fight back? >> those were two off the cuff remarks in a long string of other comments when he said take the protesters out and remove them. i think people are harping on those two comments.
this is a man who today was endorsed by dr. ben carson. one of the most peace loving christians, soft-spoken men ever in politics. this is a man who when he saw a story about a bus driver who stopped his bus and talked a woman off the cliff who was about to commit suicide. donald trump saw this story in the news. sent the bus driver $10,000 to $15,000. this is a man whose butler was on your network saying the other day when great boss donald trump was. this is a peace loving man. it is a very serious accusation to say he wants to see violence like this. it is an absurd one. does donald trump really want this in his heart? viewers would say no. he doesn't. i've been covering him for many years. i have not seen him say things quite like this before. i think there are a couple factors. i think it is important to say
that most of the dani attendees not sucker punch. i think that's very important. most of the rallies that i've danieled have not been like that. i think that trump was not taken seriously. a lot of what he was saying was dismissed as fantastical or not seen as serious or for whatever reason, if any other candidate said it, such as the punch the protester, trump has said things over and over and over. because he has been treated as a half candidate, half entertainment, it has not been treated seriously. in the same way that president obama was criticized for describing the as isis as the jv team. i don't know why trump as
comments about the violence at rallies would not be treated seriously as well. >> we're watching. jeff is with us right now. he is on the streets outside this event that was kansas he told. >> give as you sense of what's going on. >> i am walking with a group of protesters. i would say with a couple hundred or so. chicago has a very considerably large mexican-american population. that is a lot of the crowd that i am seeing out here. a lot of hispanics and central americans. they are obviously protesting mr. trump's immigration policies. the signs, most which of i cannot repeat on television. the cleanest are racist. they are protesting his policies. and you have to imagine, this is
something that is sure to continue as this campaign escalates. we see drums and whistles and bells. like any other chicago protest. any other parade. this is a, the new class of chicago immigrants. this is a very diverse city. it is not surprising at all that this would happen here. it is something we will see. we talked to a chicago police officer. he said no problems that he's seen outside, it's important to make that point. these people are just making their opinions known them do not like donald trump. >> jeff brings up a great point. if you're against donald trump, if you're inclined to protest at an event, wouldn't this incentivize you to go out tomorrow and sunday and monday at donald trump events and try to shut it down? is this a sign of what is to come among those who oppose
donald trump? >> i think without a doubt. >> we have seen the escalation. there have been some signs that it gets under his skin and he gets into a verbal jousting. but signs that it is getting more and more attention by the news media. they came to stir the conversation. maybe they didn't expect would it get kansas he told but they came to cause trouble. you could say they started it. then the question is, what is the environment in which this is playing out? which is where we're having the debate around here and what mr. trump does next. as mr. trump watches the coverage. we know he is a voracious consumer of news coverage. he will have to decide what to say about it. the statement said go in peace. we used to cover the white house. we used to say, the secret service would say, don't cover fence jumpers. don't cover when somebody throws a backpack over the fence.
you're going on encourage somebody else to do it. you can be sure, there are people saying when is donald trump coming to my town? let's get in his face. that would happen any way. we're in the middle of a political campaign and he has views that have drawn provocative policy positions that have drawn significant crowds. they have a ton of news coverage and then there's conversations about what does trump say and do next? you can bet there will be more of this. >> you've been attending a lot of donald trump events and in a sense, chronicling the atmosphere. have you seen this evolution? not just the atmosphere created by donald trump and supporters but the atmosphere being brought by people protesting him. is that escalating as well? >> no question about it. we've seen more protesters each and every week at the trump rallies. what i can tell you about trump
supporters, most absolutely love the imagine. they revere the man. they listen to every word he says so carefully. when donald trump says things like punch him in the face or knock the crap out of him. some of your guests say he's joking but a lot of them take it very seriously and they get very angry at protesters when they hear donald trump say those words. i've known donald trump a long time. i've done stories on him and i interviewed him 25 years ago. i can tell you that donald trump -- a little disconnect in my ear. i can tell you that donald trump does not back down. don't be surprised if he changes nothing. backing down would disappoint his followers. he is tough. he likes being a tough guy. it has worked for him in business. don't be surprised if he change nothing. >> i don't see how a man who says he is a unifier, who are call for peace in his rallies, is backing down.
he has a lot of support on twitter. there are a lot of people who agree. they say, these are college bums. these people never earned a living them only came to protest ask to disrupt this. but i think that ignores what john was saying, it ignores the context. not tonight donald trump comments we've also had all these statements about muslims about, mexicans. of course, you know, donald trump to his credit has mobilized a massive group of people who want to come into the republican party. his people will not acknowledge that he has unleashed people in this country that are very emotional. unless you do this right with statesmanship, you will bring these kinds of clashes. and they didn't have to clues the university of illinois for a
site knowing that something like this might well happen. >> was moveon.org involved? >> you asked me, do i think we'll see more of this. this is an e-mail that move on.org sent out to its members. they have some pictures from the protest them take credit for being part of the effort. part of the successful event. they say, there what is standing up to hate looks like. a huge win for courageous students and organizers. everywhere trump goes, his hateful and violence needs to be met with outpouring opposition. so move on has a very large e-mail list and a very large membership list. you can be certain they're taking credit for part of this. they're saying it is a good
thing, what's happening on the screen and the cancellation of the event and they're urging their members and other community groups to do it again. >> we have an election in five states. a huge number of delegates at stake. what is going on in the next four days after what has been happening? >> i think john makes the most sailent point. it is true. it is going to be like a virus and spread. nobody is has been able to either contain him or did impact what he will do. donald trump has set the terms of this conversation, this of primary, this election on both sides in many ways. this is the first time you've had an event control donald trump. if you are a protester, you are going to feel emboldened by
this. i think you are seeing some real ugliness tomorrow. >> there were skirmishes but it breaks up pretty fast. >> you're still with us right now. once again though. the donald trump road show has overtaken everything else that may be going on in the primary cycle. we were going to have you on talking about the ben carson endorsement. marco rubio saying, for john kasich in ohio. once again what's happening with donald trump seems to be overshadowing that. so if you are one of the other campaigns, how do you handle this tomorrow? >> one of the dynamics has made it very in difficult, donald trump has gotten multiples of greater coverage than anyone
else. that has made it very tough. they're not campaigns. i think republicans to have ask themselves. do you at all care about winning the white house? and winning the senate? this is just a suicide that the republican party is pulling on and donald trump is pulling the cord. no question. i worked for george bush. think about what he did in texas before he ran for president and how he reached out to hispanics, versus, say, in california with peept wilson. it was complete lip different. that's the path to win. it is an inside straight for a republican to get elected president. it is just the facts of how it is. democrats start with about 240 electoral votes.
this is an absolute blue print for a slaughter for republicans. and one that the day after, you haven't just lost an election. you've lost a party. and you've got to fight back. i think this is really, as he said, a moral question here. the republicans have to ask themselves. is donald trump a conservative? the call for violence. it is something that goes against what it means to be a conservative. what it means to be the best of a republican. and i hope it is defeated. >> you were a supporter? you heard them saying this is a recipe for disaster in a general election. >> i think people can watch that and know those were protesters being disruptive. you do not see gangs and gangs of people throwing punches. you had seen that, it mean a different story. they were protesters at fault.
i think worth mentioning it is the same effort as paging ronald reagan as being bigoted and hateful. jemmy carter came out and said. people accused him of being in bed with the kkk as well. the same accusations if you go back and read the newspapers. today people want to make a name for. they and they're going to protest. particularly so when they know that doing so will cause the event to shut down and they get cameras and attention. we saw the same sort of rallying in ferguson. the same incitefulness. when there are cameras, it escalates it. >> you've been to donald trump events. i've been too. i was not really screened i suppose if i was a protester. >> you're right. anyone can get in. whatever they do sometime, they
see the private security people who donald trump players, when they see people who look a little bit suspicious. they have a shirt that is directly again donald trump. something that sets them off their radar. they will kick people out before rallies. there were nine disruptions. people were kicked out before hand. i want to mention about donald trump. you see him in the rallies. he calls them disgusting. he calls members of the news media disgusting. people with a pen in the back. when we talk to donald trump in private, when he has news conferences. he is a totally different person. he is mellow, polite, he doesn't call us disgusting or call other people disgusting. so the donald trump at these large rallies. >> ben carson today. there are two donald trumps. ben carson who was called that a
athleticic and likened to a child molester. >> i think that's true. the trump can be charlieing. he is entertaining. he can be very mellow. he has three children which are pretty terrific to deal with. one thing that's striking, what it means to be a republican, a conservative, trump is tapping into a lot of anger. they feel like their leaders have not been listening. while he is saying things that are of questionable responsibility and whether he should be handling things differently. when you're potentially the nominee, you need to do it differently. there is a park for it. and there are people responding for a reason. people are angry and have been for a long time.
the discussion going on over the last half-hour is extraordinary. i'm hearing from people telling us, on the one hand that it is the protesters who are all to blame. other people saying, donald trump has created the worst environment we've ever seen. other people saying that we're enabling donald trump by covering like it is. other people saying we're enabling the protesters. the discussion about this, i've never seen anything like it. it is regard to. >> there is something about bringing it to a head and trying to deal with it. it is a real illness in our democracy. i want to point out. we've had candidates who have good mobilized millions of supporters. barack obama in 2008 mobilied people. he had massive rallies. he didn't have this. he didn't have this kind of violence taking place. ronald reagan. and to compare donald trump to ronald reagan is a disservice to president reagan.
the point is, reagan had lots and lots of people who came out. but he was a positive campaigner. he didn't try to divide people. was he tough? yes. jack kennedy had large crowds. he didn't bring out all these haters like this. if you're going to be a unifier, that's part of what your pledge is. this is the most important challenge that he is facing. >> in he was also a former political candidate who was supporting ted cruz for president. you think ted cruz is getting a raw deal. what do you want to see him say and do about it? do you want ted cruz to come out and say, donald trump has to do something to take care of these
events and tamp down the tone? >> ted cruz doesn't have to do. that he already believes in free speech. it is people hike stewart steven who's doesn't believe in the constitution. this guy is an insider who is so against donald trump. as i said over and over, i'm a cruz guy. he is willing to this, that donald trump is a really bad guy. no kidding. i don't support him either. i think he's done some really bad things and said some bad things. the fact that stewart can even remotely ensign wait this should be on trump and he can do so, shutting down the right to free speech in a political campaign is borderline outrageous. he should be embarrassed to say on it a cable station.
>> listen, i'm right. he's wrong. i appreciate his right to express it and i appreciate his support for senator cruz who i think will be a far better president and candidate than donald trump. this isn't a quince deb. donald trump knows what he is doing. and this isn't about policy. there is a lot of candidates out there who have strong policies about immigration. they don't call mexicans rapists. you don't do that. you have to respect the privilege and understand that you're speaking to million and million of people. and in many ways, you're speaking to the world as a candidate. what signal does it say that we're calling our neighbors rapists? you can't expect that there
won't be a violent reaction. you're responsible for what you say and how it impacts other people. that's something unique about being a presidential candidate versus even boo running for senate. and i don't think donald trump has any sense of that. i think he didn't take it very seriously to begin with. as well as everybody else. he has a serious responsibility. he is representing in some ways america. and he needs to start acting like that. instead, getting up there and hugging his steaks. he needs to act hike someone who is representing the utnited states of america. >> donald trump was supposed to hold an event at the university of chicago. inside the event hall, there were hundreds if not thousands of protesters who had gotten in and were preparing to protest.
donald trump called off the event. he did not hold the event. we saw moments between donald trump supporters and the protesters. that broke out on the floor after the cancellation. it was a remarkable image to see. where do you think we go before voting on tuesday? >> it is hard to say. it could be the turning point in this campaign if he runs on tuesday. the effort to stop donald trump will be very hard to succeed. the vote letters decide. stewart thinks they might process it one way. david gergen thinks it might be processed one way. one thing we know, we are going to be asking whether the trump
supporters don't think it is fair. we'll be asking him to address what he thinks about this. the protests will continue without a doubt. >> for everyone who has been with us. thank you so much. don lemon picks up the coverage right now with cnn tonight. donald trump is speaking out after his chicago rally is post possibly in the midst of clashes between protesters and supporters inside. look at all the pictures of what happened earlier. there what american politics has come to? this is cnn tonight. i'm don element only.